Summer vacation — is that even a thing anymore? While you were busy adulting, summer came and now it's almost gone. But don't panic if you didn't get a chance to take the grand vacation you were planning on, because there's still time to carve out a break before fall officially arrives. Pick one weekend to turn your home into a hotel, and spend that time relaxing by a pool, hanging in your hammock and chowing down on warm-weather eats. Long days and warm nights may be numbered, but these tips will help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated with the ones you have left.
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Jump Start Your Day With a Tasty Iced Coffee
It's still way too hot outside to thoroughly enjoy your regular steaming cup of joe. Switch to a vanilla iced coffee so that you still get the usual jolt of caffeine without feeling overheated first thing in the morning. Add a dash of vanilla syrup, creamer, a handful of ice cubes and sip away.
Cool Off With a Chic Boho Towel
It doesn't matter if you're hanging by a community pool, lounging in your backyard's grass or building sandcastles at the beach, you're going to need a towel. Don't just settle for any old tattered textile in your linen closet, though. This tie-dyed fringed beauty will not only keep you dry, it'll look great paired with your favorite bikini in your next Instagram story.
Cover Up With an Easy, Breezy Caftan
Summer fashion is about looking effortlessly chic, and this caftan is all that and more. Grab two yards of fabric in a festive print and get ready to make your new favorite cover-up. Even if you're not a seasoned seamstress, you can handle this project — it's comprised of easy, straight stitches.
Enjoy a Fresh Ceviche Appetizer Before Lunch
Step away from your oven. When temperatures are high, the last thing you want to do is make your place feel even hotter. This no-cook recipe for fresh shrimp ceviche is full of tangy citrus, tomatoes, jalapeños, onions and cilantro. Serve with a heaping bowl of tortilla chips and get ready to eat the whole thing.
Plan Ahead With a Double Batch of Lemon Artichoke Pesto
When you're trying to pack as much of a summer vacation as you can into a single weekend, time is precious. Make a double batch of this artichoke and lemon pesto, and you'll be able to add it to pasta or chicken for dinner. You could even munch on it with crackers for a snack.
Make Yourself a Juicy Burger Without Touching the Grill
If you're craving a juicy burger for lunch but don't want to fire up the grill solo, cook your patty in a cast iron skillet instead. With a hot pan and a little oil, you can get the same crisp edges and charred flavor of a hot rack without the extra effort. From black bean veggie burgers to thick bison burgers, this method is a winner for cooking up small batches in a flash.
Relax With a Mid-Day Siesta In Your Hammock
When your belly's all full and your cravings are satisfied, you'll probably be ready for a little nap. A few pieces of basic pressure-treated wood is all that's standing between you and the ultimate mid-day snooze spot. Coming in at a mere fraction of what a hammock stand from the store will cost you, this free-standing wood version is as attractive as it is affordable. Relaxation to commence in 3...2...1...
Stay Hydrated With a Pitcher of Sun Tea
Sun tea is exactly what it sounds like: tea made in the sun. It's basically the set-it-and-forget-it recipe of the beverage world. Just combine your choice of tea bags, fresh herbs, lemon slices and sugar in a large clear glass jar and fill with water. Find the sunniest spot you can, and leave your jar there to brew for the next 1 to 3 hours. When it's ready, pour yourself a tall glass.
Seafood Paella — It's What's For Dinner
Filled with fresh shrimp, mussels, chicken thighs and arborio rice, this seafood paella is just the kind of meal you need to round out a relaxation-filled day. While it might be a little more extravagant than what you'd usually make for dinner, that's what's so great about it. Go ahead and spend a bit of extra time on your meal, and throughly enjoy every bite of your hard work.
There's Always Room for Dessert
Your favorite flavor of ice cream sandwiched between two crisp chocolate chip wafers makes for a dessert so delicious you'll look for any excuse to make a few. Whether you go with store-bought or homemade, spread the softened ice cream on a baking sheet and refreeze. Then, use your biscuit cutter to make the perfect round center for your sandwich. Yum.